Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mantle clock by Mauthe - Westminster chime

Mauthe Mantle clock circa 1950s
 This is a German Mauthe mantle clock. It is a fairly nondescript clock with unique applique scrolls on either side of the front facade. A very practical design and not particularly attractive in my view. It is a three train clock with a rod and hammer Westminster chime which actually sounds quite nice. It chimes on the quarter, half, three quarter and on the hour as well as striking the appropriate hour. Now this can be quite annoying to some folks but to me this is the sound of music. I can imagine that many people did not wind the chime side because of this.

I got it at an antique store about 20 minutes from where we live and at a pretty good price. Why, it is not the high season yet and anyone with an antique store will give you a pretty good price at this time of the year (March) just to keep store traffic and stock moving. 

On top of a 1947 Stromberg Carlson console radio
Here is what I know about the Mauthe company drawn from various sources. 

Mauthe started as a general supplier for clockmakers tools and equipment in Germany. Mauthe originally accepted clocks on a barter system. As the demand for clocks grew, Mauthe started his own manufacturing enterprise in 1876. His sons Christian and Jacob joined the family enterprise in 1876. In 1886 the Mauthe factory started her own spring drawing facilities. In 1899 a case factory was added, by 1900, 1000 employees were on the payroll. In 1915 Mauthe added their own sawmill and milling shop. 

In 1923 the year of inflation made competition for Mauthe tough. In 1930 2000 workers produced 45,000 clocks and watches a week. By 1923, 60% German clocks exported to London were Mauthe. In 1970, Mauthe struggled for survival, in 1975 the company was in receivership and forced to close in 1976. 

I am dating this clock to around the early fifties before floating balances were in vogue.

Movement with pendulum
The clock sounds great. I cleaned it up and will oil tomorrow once I see it running for at least a day.

Update: After 24 hours is is a little fast but going through the strike and time cycles without a problem. Very pleasant sound. Nice to finally have Westminster chime mantle clock.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Couples Tower Isle Jamaica Holiday March 2015

 We had a wonderful one-week (7 nights) vacation in Jamaica. We stayed at Couples Tower Isle which is about 10 minutes from Ocho Rios. The resort is smallish, about 270 rooms and just the right size for us.

This YouTube video sums up the experience.

Front lobby
We had a comfortable room located in a quiet area overlooking the ocean. The room was comfortable and the view was quite something. The balcony was quite private.

The food was wonderful easily the best we have had in the Caribbean. Through the week we did not dine once in the main dining hall but took advantage of the specialty restaurants of which there are three; one offered Asian cuisine while the other two, the Veranda and Eight Rivers serve great meals with all the accoutrements and thoughtful service. On two mornings we had breakfast in our room. Local dishes combined with North American fare satisfied us on each day of our vacation.

Main pool
See my travelogue of the resort at YouTube at this link. You may have to copy the link into your browser

The resort was all-inclusive but no tipping was permitted. Not once did I see a tip passed to the staff. It is such a relief not to have to tip. At other resorts my wife and I are always wondering what is enough. Tipping in Cuba and the DR was always a hassle though it did not overshadow the vacation in the least just a minor inconvenience. Not here. A gratuity is included in the price so the staff are not left out.

Sea wall on  west side
The weather was iffy for the first two days with a little rain and windy conditions but things improved through the week. In general the weather did not disappoint. The temperatures were in the high 20s and low thirties, perfect for us especially given the terrible winter weather at our home in Nova Scotia this winter.

Excursions for us included a catamaran tour of Ocho Rios, the sights and sounds of the Blue Mountain area and a shopping trip to Ocho Rios, a true tourist trap which came as no surprise to us.
While there I bought some Cuban cigars for a decent price and we just had to get a supply of Blue Mountain coffee.
Nude sunbathing locale

If you are into au natural sunbathing Couples is the place for you. Tower Isle is the place to be to bare all. Not for us though, we are too timid. Anyway those who dared raved about it.

So, a great trip, we cam back rested if a little sunburned. We have fond memories of our trip and chalk it up as another successful vacation in the Caribbean.

Morning sun
Our catamaran

Pier and ferry ride to Tower Isle

SS Minnow perhaps, hurricane damage
Front facade and ocean terrace